Heaviest rain restricted to Far North
MetService has shrunk its heavy rain warning to just cover Northland, but bad weather is still possible in other parts of the country.
While warnings have been lifted for Auckland north of Whangaparaoa, Coromandel Peninsula and northern Gisborne, heavy rain is still possible in those areas, which remain covered by a severe weather watch.
MetService said a deep low that was formerly Tropical Cyclone Evan was expected to move west-southwest just north of Cape Reinga today and lie just west of the North Island tomorrow.
The low was likely to bring rain to the upper North Island and strong to gale southeasterlies to the far north.
A rain band was expected to drift south over Northland this afternoon and early evening, bringing a burst of heavy rain, with the largest amounts expected about the eastern hills of Northland where 60 to 80mm could accumulate.
"People in these areas, especially holidaymakers and trampers, are advised that rivers and streams may rise rapidly, slips and surface flooding are possible, and that it is important to be aware of local road conditions," MetService said.
Periods of rain, possibly heavy at times were expected to continue today in the north of Gisborne and in Coromandel, MetService said.
A rain band was expected to bring a period of heavy rain to Auckland north of Whangaparaoa late this afternoon and into this evening.
HOT AND DAMP FOR LOWER NORTH
Christmas Day was shaping up to be subtropical with hot, humid, drizzly and damp weather forecast for the lower North Island.
MetService forecaster Peter Knudsen said the muggy weather was being generated by a slow-moving low on the tale of ex tropical Cyclone Evan that will keep hugging the east coast of the North Island over the coming days.
''It's a long time since it's been a cyclone. It's not an active machine so we don't expect any wild weather - Christmas Day will be humid and hot and generally fine with cloudy periods, especially morning and night. Wherever there's morning cloud there'll be a few drizzle patches associated,'' Knudsen said.
There is also a chance of heavy afternoon and evening showers especially in Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu.
On Boxing Day the low and an associated trough are likely to move onto central New Zealand bringing rain to many areas and a low risk of heavy rain over the North Island from Waitomo to Wellington, the central high country and in Wairarapa.
The long-range forecast for New Year's eve and New Year's day around the lower North Island was for gusty nor'westers and rain as twin highs squeezed the country.
In the South Island, rain was expected to develop tomorrow in the north, but it was expected to be mainly fine elsewhere apart from morning drizzle about the east coast and late drizzle over the fjords.